The Locksmith’s Glossary

Access Control – physically being able to regulate traffic to a given area

Angularly Bitted Key – type of key bitting that is found most commonly in Medeco and Emhart locks

Anti-passback – system designed to prevent the same credential from using an access control multiple times in a row

Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) – the largest organization of locksmiths in the world, drives industry wide advancements through training and education

Bait and Switch – the practice that shady unprofessional locksmiths use to charge higher prices by first quoting a low price on the phone and then increasing the price dramatically when they have completed the service

Berlin key – key type in which both ends of the key are bitted, after unlocking the door from one side the key must be pushed all the way through the locking mechanism and locked from the inside before is released

Bezel – a collar use secure some cylinder and lock assemblies

Bible – that portion of the cylinder shell which normally house the pin chambers

Biometric lock – requires a physical input such as a finger print input to unlock

Blade – the part of the key inserted into the lock cylinder

Bump key – type of key, different for each set of locks, that allows for easily opening a pin tumbler lock

Bored cylindrical lock – a lock that is drilled using two holes perpendicular to each other one through the face of the door frame and one through the edge of the door frame, most common type of residential lock and is thought of as a standard lock type

Car key code – series of characters needed to properly determine the cuts that need to be made on a specific car key

Chamber – the holes in the cylinder where the springs and pins are located when the lock is in the unlocked position

Closed circuit television – security camera system which transmits recordings through an internal circuit, otherwise known as CCTV

Control key – a key that can be used to remove the inner part of a lock cylinder that can be then be used to re-key

Cutting a key – making a new key from scratch to replace a missing one

Deadbolt – a lock that is engaged through turning a key or knob rather than by spring action

Deflector cover – metal shield, possibly removable, that is in place to prevent the drilling of a safe

En suite – refers to a lock that is in a master lock system

Factory original key – completely cut and finished key that the manufacturer creates for the lock

Grand master key – when a master key system is installed and there are more than two access keys, the key which can open every lock in the system is the grand master key

Ignition switch – otherwise known as the ignition starter is a switch that actives the main electrical system of your vehicle

Immobiliser – security device installed inside of automobiles that eliminates the threat of hot wiring for that vehicle

Jamb – the vertical inside part of the door

Key blank -an uncut key that can be cut by a locksmith to fit a specific lock

Key code – alphanumeric code used by a locksmith to identify the unique cuts needed for a specific key

Key duplication – making a copy of an existing key

Key relevance – the relative difference between the original and duplicate key

Key shoulder – edge sticking up towards the handle of the key that prevents the key from being shoved too far into the lock cylinder

Key way – the area of the lock cylinder where the key is inserted

Lock pick set – set of tools used to pick a standard lock includes a torsion wrench as well as the lock pick itself

Master key system – system of locks which can be opened by one key on an individual basis and a “master key” which can open all of the locks

MLA – Master Locksmith Association; the largest association of locksmiths in the United Kingdom

Mortise – a hole cut into the side of the door in order to place a mortise lock or latch

Mortise lock – a mortise lock is used by drilling a single hole on the edge of the door frame which the lock is then placed and installed into, slightly more secure than bored cylindrical lock but also requires specialized drilling tools…More on mortise locks

NLSA – National Locksmith Suppliers Association

One-way action – a lock where the follower will only turn in one direction

Plug follower – tool used to replace the extract the pin house from the cylinder

Plug spinner – tools used to attempt to spin the cylinder in order to make the bolt retract

Re-key – resetting the tumbler of a lock so that it is controlled by a different key

Relocker – a lock mechanism within a safe that will automatically re-lock the bolt work in the case that there is an attempted forced entry

Safe-cracking – the practice of opening a safe without a combination or key

Sash lock – a mortise lock which has a key operated bolt as well as a latch

Shoulder (or bow stop) – edge of the key that sticks out and determines how far the key is inserted into the lock

Smart key – wireless access dives which can be used to open a car door and start the ignition without having to insert a key, most cars equipped with this technology also have a back up spare key which operates in a traditional fashion

Sub master key – a key within the master key system that can open an entire set of locks within a complex but not all of the locks in the complex

Throw – the distance that a bolt travels when it moves from the unlocked to locked position or vice versa

Time lock – addition lock normally found in banks and other high security locations which only allows a lock to only be opened during a pre-programmed time even if the write combination is entered

Torsion spring – garage door spring which is in the shape of a helix, provides the balance force that allows you to easily raise your garage doors

Torsion wrench – lock picking tool used to apply torque to a lock’s pins

Transponder key – automotive key which sends sends an electronic frequency to the cars main computer which only enables that key to start the car

Tumbler – mechanism which must be lifted before the bolt of the lock will move

Uncontrolled cross keying – set-up in which two or more keys are purposely designed to open and close the same lock

VIN – short for vehicle identification number, this information can be used by a locksmith to find the right code to cut a car key for that specific model

We Are Constantly Adding New Terms To Our Locksmith Glossary Through Our Locksmith Terms Blog Posts!

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2 Responses to The Locksmith’s Glossary

  1. Pingback: Locksmith Terms – Part 4 | Phila-Locksmith

  2. Pingback: Locksmith Terms – Part 5 | Phila-Locksmith

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